1. Turin: the capital of Piedmont is the fourth largest city in Italy after Rome, Milan and Naples. Turin is a university town, mostly well-known for its car manufacturing industry and the Juventus, the most successful Italian football team ever. An interesting historical fact is that when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants, his army destroyed the place that would become Turin. The House of Savoy also boasts many beautiful royal residences in and around the city.
2. Ivrea: its medieval castle, Carnival and Battle of the Oranges, re-enacting the civil war between the habitants of the city and the Napoleonic troops, definitely deserve a mention.
3. Lago Maggiore: a visit of the Borromean Islands is a must, especially the Isola Bella. The baroque palazzo is gorgeous, as are the Italian-style gardens landscaped over ten terraces. The Villa Taranto in Verbania is one of the most complete botanical gardens in the world. The mastermind behind this symphony of colours is Scottish Captain Neil McEacharn, who negotiated his burial in a mausoleum in his beloved park in return for donating the villa to the State. As for Stresa, its most famous guest might well be the writer Ernest Hemingway and the town has a sought-after Musical Weeks festival. Another interesting festival is Tones on the Stones, a mix of theatre, dance and music performed in the historical stone quarries.
4. Sacri Monti: the Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy is a group of nine religious sites in the mountains of Northern Italy (Varallo, Crea, Orta, Varese, Oropa, Ossuccio, Ghiffa, Domodossola and Valperga). Each sacred venue consists of a number of chapels and other architectural dwellings from the late 16th and 17th centuries. The Sacri Monti were built as an alternative to the Holy Land for the practice of the Christian faith.